Enclosures

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Cspirou, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    So to start this off, I notice that most amps use aluminum enclosures but stainless steel is an option when I shop around. Is there any particular reason why I shouldn't use stainless steel?

    I know that steel is much harder to work with than aluminum and that there are rust issues. But assuming that I don't have a problem drilling holes, why shouldn't I use steel?
     
  2. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    A little wood + metal I am working on IMG_0163.JPG

    Details and plans coming soon
     
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  3. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Some progress

    IMG_0212.JPG
     
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  4. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    Casing is a bitch, and steel makes it even more harder. The reason why steel isn't used more often is that there are not that many readily available steel cases which also happen to look pretty. You might go with steel for a completely custom case, but that will be difficult and expensive, unless you're doing the work yourself and have the gear to do it.

    Btw, cool wooden case - just remember to pad the inside with something conductive like foil, otherwise you lose the shielding your case will provide.
     
  5. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    @Hrodulf - I've tried to drill steel before and it was the worst. I assumed that all my future projects would be aluminum however I found a site that can do laser cut steel at completely reasonable prices.

    http://lasergist.com/

    They can do up to 3mm which seems like more than enough. So the work is not an issue but I wanted to know if there is an inherent reason to not use steel. Heatsinking is about the only reason I can think of. I plan to use it to case my LJM HA-Pro amp.

    I assumed that internal shielding wouldn't be super important because I have metal plates on top and the front and back. Amps from Bottlehead and Decware are basically a wooden base with a metal plate on top. I don't remember seeing added shielding so I am emulating that. Do you think Bottlehead amps need foil? I can always add foil later so I'll see how it works first.
     
  6. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    Why not just CNC the crap out of a Modushop case? Steel casing isn't just about cutting, you need to design everything and make sure that it doesn't come apart.

    As for tube amps, wood might actually make more sense there because you still have tubes picking up noise unless you cover them as well.
     
  7. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Modushop does an excellent job as does front panel express. I have several reasons not to use them;

    -cost
    -cost
    -cost

    The LJM amp is ~$24 and spending >$100 on casing isn't going to happen. Maybe when I finish my Dynalo SS mini, but not for this. I am accounting for assembly too and have some ideas using t-slots. Or I can do an open frame like Garage1217.

    Tubes and transformer will be above chassis so I think I'll skip foil. I will need a cover for the toroidal transformer though.
     
  8. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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  9. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    Who said anything about out-manufacturing modushop? I'm not commercializing this.

    I've never done a metal case before but I have done lasercut wood. Maybe it will look like shit but I need to start somewhere. I wouldn't even consider this if the cost was high but pricing it was south of $40.

    And I have priced it with CNC, it adds a significant amount to the price.
     
  10. Hrodulf

    Hrodulf Prohibited from acting as an MOT until year 2050

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    I didn't say outsell - what I meant was manufacturing a better case than an experienced enclosure outfit at a lower price.

    I could case that amp for 62EUR sans fuel costs for driving to my CNC guy. Out of that 30EUR is CNC and 15EUR is getting the case from Italy to Latvia.

    P.S. Joining the steel parts will be by far the hardest part. If you're proficient with wood, you might use that for joints.
     
  11. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    Well, you've already listed the obvious reasons most don't use steel for enclosures. You talk about stainless steel in the OP, then stell later. If you're considering stainless steel what grades are you looking at?
     
  12. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    If we're talking about modushop specifically they charge 25€ per panel. I need the front, rear and bottom drilled which is 75€ for CNC alone. They don't do steel CNC which means I would need to buy the 30€ aluminum case and that's north of 100€ Total. On lasergist an estimate for what I am looking for is about 30€ completely cut up. I could just buy the regular case from modushop and drill it myself but lasergist is so cheap that I'd rather do that.

    The panels would stay in place with slotted joints. Similar to this

    [​IMG]

    If the quote is screwed up and it actually cost more then I think I'll just do the top and bottom, like Garage1217. Which has no joinery and much cheaper.

    I'm only considering steel in the context of lasergist. They use AISI 304 and AISI 316. The low cost is attractive so I'd like to work with it.
     
  13. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    No need to pay the premium for 316 over 304 as you don't need the extra corrosion and chemical resistance for an enclosure.
     
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  14. shipsupt

    shipsupt Admin

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    Just checking out lasergist... Do you know what their actual size limitations are? I notice that for an on-line quote it seems you are limited to 300mm x 300mm.
     
  15. Cspirou

    Cspirou They call me Sparky

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    The HA-Pro is about 110mm x 170mm. Including all the panels it should fit in the 300mm x 300mm area. If not I can split the order. Large panels might be an issue but they say to just email them if you need something larger.
     

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